Title: Too Much of a Good Thing
Producer: Elsa Lankford and Black Crow Productions
Genre: Social Satire
Rating: AD-G* (mild swearing)
Availability: Free to Listen on PRX (Free Listener Registration Required)
Greetings, Audionauts – Captain Radio here with a review of Elsa Lankford’s Too Much of a Good Thing from Black Crow Productions.
Some global cultures have well-known, presumably independent news gathering outfits working alongside reasonably respectable commercial enterprises.
American news-gathering falls largely upon the shoulders of both commercial and intensely-sponsored “public” organizations.
Both, of late, have received their fair share of cynical criticism for dubious content, methods, objectivity, and, importantly, independence.
The separation between news and sponsorship can become precariously blurred, as our Too Much of a Good Thing protagonists learn while watching “news” that seems more broken than “breaking”:
Laura, a wannabe mystery writer (voiced by Danielle Lenhard), and her Helen Reddy-obsessed intimate roommate, Trina (voiced by Lankford) step outside to try to fathom the news frenzy engulfing the house next door.
When Trina defends neighborhood trash collector Joey (voiced by Patrick Zemeral) from media pillorying, “ace” live reporter Dank Stevens (voiced by James Armstrong) soundly repudiates her:
The reporter then presses on to fast-breaking coverage of … unicorn abuse.
Soon, a furtive figure recruits the amenable ladies to investigate the mysterious comings-and-goings in the neighborhood, just as the old News Director at “Channel 7.5” (voiced by Grace Enriquez), explains the (sad) facts of news evolution to Dank:
When neighborhood uber-gossip Mrs. Lewis (Enriquez again) abruptly is hired and upgraded to become the new Channel 7.5 News Director, Lankford unleashes through her a droll and thinly veiled volley at network newsgathering credibility:
Satire eventually shifts more toward a genuine mystery, and imperiled Laura and Trina uncover a plot so large and so sinister that even Monty Python writer/director Terry Gilliam’s dark fancy would be tickled.
While the play hints at autobiographical asides and harbors some fun, if not essential, dialog, its virtually unrelenting satire seems all too suited to modern network news-mongering.
Listen to Elsa Lankford’s Too Much of a Good Thing from Black Crow Productions at PRX.org.
During your visit, you may also wish to hear Lankford’s half-hour documentary about a neighborhood bypassed by road construction entitled, Rooted and Unrooted: West Baltimore’s Highway to Nowhere.
Until next time, Audionauts, this is Captain Radio, signing off![audio: http://media.blubrry.com/radiodramarevival/www.radiodramarevival.com/captradio/captain-radio-too-much-of-a-good-thing.mp3]
* Rating based on the Audio Drama Directory Ratings System.